Paul Krugman explains the surprising reason Biden's surge isn't as bad for the Left as people think
Joe Biden, the former vice president, greets a voter d AFP / Kerem Yucel

Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has, at times, been critical of some of former Vice President Joe Biden’s past positions. But in a post-Super Tuesday Twitter thread, Krugman compares the Biden of 2020 to the Biden of the past — and notes some areas in which he believes Biden has improved.

Krugman opens the thread by noting Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s withdrawal from the Democratic presidential field, which as of Thursday afternoon, March 5, has been reduced to two main candidates: Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. A third candidate remains in the race: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, but given her low poll numbers, no one considers Gabbard a serious contender.

“Warren is out; prediction markets think Sanders is toast, and they’re probably right,” Krugman tweets. “This will probably be over by the 17th, when the Northern Marianas vote. Well, maybe Florida — which Biden seems set to win big — matters more. But progressives shouldn’t despair.”

Krugman goes on to explain why not.

“The fact is that whatever you may say about Biden’s past positions, the policies he’s advocating now are remarkably progressive,” Krugman explains. “He’s calling for a major expansion of Obamacare, which would probably get us close to universal coverage.”

Krugman’s criticisms of Sanders have been fairly mild: he believes that calling himself a “democratic socialist” is not a good way to promote himself in the U.S., and he believes that Medicare-for-all — although a noble long-time term goal — is not realistic at this point. Yet Krugman has also said that it’s good to seeing the type of liberal/progressive ideas that Sanders champions receiving more serious attention. And that includes tax policy.

In his thread, Krugman notes that according to the Tax Policy Center’s “new analysis,” Biden’s tax proposals “would hit the top 1% and the top 0.1% hard.”

The New York Times columnist concludes his thread by tweeting, “So Democrats we call ‘moderates’ are actually pushing an agenda that would have been considered very liberal just a few years ago — and of course, is vastly to the left of the right-wing radicals of the GOP.